OKC’s weight-loss campaign, and ironic uses of “irony”

Three months ago, I mentioned that the mayor of perennially zaftig Oklahoma City, having lost 38 pounds in 10 months himself, had launched an initiative aimed at getting locals to shed excess weight. By late April, over 17,700 official participants in Cornett’s program had lost a collective 68,700 pounds over 16 weeks, about four pounds per person and roughly a pound a month. The ultimate goal: one million collective pounds shed.
Clearly, the numbers are less important than the overall promotion of lifestyle changes that include healthful weight loss as onely one benefit. The site Cornett launched is hardly a “let’s-start-starving-you-lardballs!” production; it includes all sorts of information about exercise, nutrition, behavioral modification and so on.
As the wire story explains, fast-food megachain Taco Bell, having launched a new low-fat “Fresco Menu” in December, contacted Cornett after learning of his brainchild and his concomitant fears that fast-food restaurants would balk at it. Company reps told Cornett that once the number of dropped pounds of program participants reaches 100,000, everyone in OKC will be entitled to a free low-fat taco from the recently launched menu. And, save for the fact that Taco Bell’s food (in my opinion) tastes like shit warmed over, they all lived happily ever after.
Well, not exactly.

Check out this drivel. The comments are hysterical, with every definition of the term equally applicable. Head denialist-at-large Paul McAleer seems to think there’s something “sad,” “sick,” or “weird” about giving away free food to reward the city’s residents for taking part in OKC’s weight-loss scheme (or for simply living there, actually). And naturally, one of the commenters blares, “Can they not see the irony?” and offers a crass, off-base analogy about feeding normoglycemic diabetics candy bars.
\here’s nothing “ironic” about a fast-food restaurant giving away free low-fat tacos as part of supporting a city-wide weight-loss initiative. The only “irony” is that a bunch of fat people who think that weight loss is the devil’s work and who routinely (and correctly) note that fat people do have to eat are complaining about someone handing out free food.
I feel almost as bad for these fringe-dwellers on account of their skewed world views as I do about their having spent a lot of their lives feeling cruddy about themselves simply because of their physiques; I don’t know what it would take to convince them that their outcries represent more than simple annoyance — there’s some frank paranoia there.
Note that the one comment that says more or less what I have here was edited by the admin. That’s one way to maintain a stormy sea of denial — get rid of the voices of reason to keep the sanity bar at ground level where it belongs.

3 thoughts on “OKC’s weight-loss campaign, and ironic uses of “irony””

  1. Don’t you realize that in order to lose weight you must not eat anything AT ALL? Everyone knows fit, thin people simply harness energy directly from the sun, and hence Taco Bell’s offering of FREE low-fat food to these people who thrive off of starvation is downright insane! Use your brain, man!

  2. This is the admin’s explanation of why he edited the post:
    The issue I (and Dreama presumably) had was about these people “transforming” themselves with a weight loss diet. It came off as a positive thing in your original comment so, I deleted that. If you have further questions please feel free to email me… I don’t want to derail this topic too much. Thanks.

  3. There is a post about International No Diet Day, “an annual celebration of body acceptance and body shape diversity.” I like it. We also should have “International skip your breast/prostate exam day” to celebrate diversity in the sizes and cell replication rates of those organs, and “International No Hygeiene Day” where we can all stick it to a media obsessed with smelling sweet by not wiping our asses or using tampons for 24 hours. What a bunch of fucking idiots!

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